Lead Article in Harvard Negotiation Law Review Looks at Therapeutic Jurisprudence
New Perspectives in Negotiation: A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Approach
By Andrew F. Amendola
The field of law is experiencing a gradual evolutionary movement, as practitioners eschew the traditional adversarial approach in favor of cooperative methods which produce more beneficial, integrative outcomes. Recently, interdisciplinary collaborations between the fields of law and social science have endeavored not only to optimize substantive outcomes, but also to create a more therapeutic experience for the parties involved. This involves determining the psychological, emotional, and physical effects certain legal processes exact on attorneys as well as clients, and adjusting those processes to reduce adverse consequences in those areas. For legal practitioners, this therapeutic approach can help reduce stress, job dissatisfaction, and other problems associated with the practice of law. For clients, optimized resolutions and minimized adverse psychological effects are achieved through the attorney’s increased receptivity to their client’s interests, and greater client involvement, which acts as an empowering tool, enhancing the client’s overall well-being. The result is a more gratifying interaction and overall improved satisfaction with outcomes.